2020 is here and there are a lot of exciting things in store for Memphis Zoo guests. We sat down with Memphis Zoo’s Chief Executive Officer Jim Dean and Chief Zoological Officer Matt Thompson to find out more.
Next time you visit you may notice more interactive animal experiences. Animal interpreters will be offering face to face moments between guests and animals. “We want guests to understand how we are working every day to save some of the rarest species and how they can help too. Interacting with animals can create that connection and is really fun for everyone,” said Matt Thompson.
Come spring, Dinosaurs will invade Memphis Zoo. Even though dinosaurs are extinct, there is plenty to learn from them. Starting at the end of February our visitors will be able to walk through a wooded trail and experience life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. “The kid in everyone will come out when they see the size of these animals and hear the sounds they might have made,” said Thompson. Visitors will also learn about how, many of these dinosaurs filled the same niche as animals that are alive today, such as giraffe, big cats and rhinoceros.
And speaking of rhinoceros and giraffe, the African Veldt will be getting a makeover. “We plan to redesign the African Veldt area to provide an immersive experience for our guests. Like Zambezi River Hippo Camp, Teton Trek and NorthWest Passage, we want to create an exhibit that provides state-of-the-art technology and the best in exhibit design that provides new and expanded habitats for elephants, rhinos and giraffes,” Thompson said.
In 2019 Memphis Zoo successfully introduced rhinos, zebras and oryx into a single space. That allowed the zoo to give the elephants more room in their exhibit.
That’s just a handful of things happening this year. Memphis Zoo is also looking beyond 2020. “We are currently working on the development of our next master plan that will again transform Memphis Zoo with world class animal habitats and visitor experiences for generations to come. We are also working on a number on exciting changes at the Zoo that will not only enhance a visit but also add excitement that will certainly be unexpected, and we plan to make those announcements shortly after the new year,” said Jim Dean.